Zoom Video Communications is branching out from its core video conferencing service to rival established productivity suites like Google Workspace and Microsoft 365. The company's latest addition, aptly named 'Notes,' aims to enhance virtual meetings by allowing participants to collaboratively create, share, and edit text documents on the fly.
Located where Zoom's chat box usually appears during a video call, 'Notes' enables users to collaborate on text documents without switching screens, thereby allowing for more focused conversations. This feature is intended as a preparatory and follow-up tool for meetings, encouraging users to create a document outlining the meeting's agenda, edit it in real-time, and share it afterwards.
Over the past year, Zoom has not only introduced an email and calendar service (@zmail) but has also invested in enhancing its Slack rival, Team Chat, and incorporated various AI features. Despite these advancements, Zoom faces stiff competition, particularly from Google and Microsoft, who have both beefed up their own video conferencing services.
The central question for Zoom is whether it can develop a full-fledged office suite to retain its user base. Subscribers to Google Workspace and Microsoft 365 already enjoy a range of services, including email, calendars, notes, and video calls, leaving Zoom with a narrow window to convince users to stay.
While the 'Notes' feature is a step in the right direction for Zoom's ambitions to become an all-in-one office suite, it remains to be seen whether these additions will be compelling enough to keep users from migrating to other more established platforms.